An inverse relation between event-related and time-frequency violation responses in sentence processing

Brain Res. 2007 Jul 16;1158:81-92. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.04.082. Epub 2007 May 21.


The relationship between semantic and grammatical processing in sentence comprehension was investigated by examining event-related potential (ERP) and event-related power changes in response to semantic and grammatical violations. Sentences with semantic, phrase structure, or number violations and matched controls were presented serially (1.25 words/s) to 20 participants while EEG was recorded. Semantic violations were associated with an N400 effect and a theta band increase in power, while grammatical violations were associated with a P600 effect and an alpha/beta band decrease in power. A quartile analysis showed that for both types of violations, larger average violation effects were associated with lower relative amplitudes of oscillatory activity, implying an inverse relation between ERP amplitude and event-related power magnitude change in sentence processing.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Comprehension / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psycholinguistics*
  • Semantics*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Time Factors